IBM Integration Bus Review
The most valuable features are load management, high availability, and web standards connectivity. I would like to see ESQL be equipped with more functions.
What is most valuable?
- WebSphere MQ Connectivity: MQInput node and MQOutput node
- Load Management: We can configure more than one instance of an application
- High Availability (multi-instance broker)
- Microsoft .NET Support/.NETCompute node: This has helped us to reuse our existing .NET code
- Web Standards connectivity: HTTPInput node and HTTPReply node
How has it helped my organization?
- We have improved our productivity
- We can easily and quickly create and integrate applications
- With the help of built-in nodes, we are no longer required to create our own code for HTTPInput node, HTTPReply node, FileInput node, FileOutPut node, etc.
- Built-in parsers are helping us in rapid development
- Development is mostly just drag and drop, e.g., MQ integration
- Deployment is much easier now
What needs improvement?
- ESQL: ESQL requires some more functions e.g., encryption/decryption/hashing. Currently, we have to use .NET or Java.
- WebSphere MQ: This needs a web-based remote monitoring and administration panel.
- Oracle Wire Protocol ODBC Driver: This needs to be compatible with different versions of Oracle, at least Oracle 10G and above versions.
- A centralized log monitoring console is required where we can monitor all traffic (in/out) of the broker node.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using this product for four years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability is mostly fine. However, integration with Oracle is not good. Sometimes the Oracle Wire Protocol ODBC driver creates problems, especially if database links are used in SPs. We have to restart our service to resume connectivity.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is mostly fine. However, in the IBM integration toolkit, there should be something like “Solution Folder in Visual Studio” to keep related applications and integration services together.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Previously, we were using Microsoft Biztalk Server for middleware and integrations. Because of the obsolete version of Biztalk and the end of the support agreement with Microsoft, we decided to switch to some new technologies with advanced features where we can implement SOA services. Hence we decided to go with IIB.
How was the initial setup?
It was a challenging task because we were moving to a new technology, especially from Microsoft to IBM. With the help of IBM technical sales staff, online help, and some trial and error, we now have a good implementation of IIB.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
As a member of the technical implementation team, I’m not involved in pricing and licensing considerations.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
While evaluating IIB, we also evaluated Oracle Service Bus (OSB) and the latest version of Microsoft Biztalk Server.
What other advice do I have?
I would recommend implementing this with proper planning such as:
- Create and implement IIB in a High Availability (HA) environment
- Create all required integration servers (execution groups) and assign them with HTTP/HTTPS ports explicitly
- Configure SSL from the start
- Use proper naming conventions for integration nodes, integration servers, and queue managers.
Which version of this solution are you currently using?